Wednesday night Guido and I were in bed. It was one of those predictable midweek bedtimes when all you’re expecting to do is strip off, slide between the sheets, then shut your eyes. If I’m really lucky I’ll have a dream about getting stuck in a very small elevator with Alexander Skarsgard.
Whilst there was no immediate suggestion of extraneous sex, I could sense Guido was perky. He sat up totally erect. So in the blink of an eye our discussion had shifted from, who was hogging the blanket most, to one of life’s unexpected dilemmas.
“Hypothetically speaking…” Guido said staring at the bedroom ceiling.
I have to tell you my heart always sinks whenever Guido starts a conversation with the words – hypothetically speaking. This is because when it boils right down to it, it’s very rarely hypothetical. Infact, it’s usually the total opposite. What he really means is it’s completely literal. This is the guy who once asked me, hypothetically, how I felt about interesting and alternative uses for peanut butter. And then proceeded use his tartan boxer shorts and a tablespoon to illustrate his point. Go figure.
“If you went to Southwark Street to withdraw some cash from our bank account, and the ATM unexpectedly spewed out an extra £200, what would you do?”
As dilemmas go it was a pretty good one. I lay there trying to get my head around all that hard cash. Trust me, there isn’t a whole shed load of it in our bank account and, if the lease for the new cafe in Denmark Hill ever gets signed, then there will be even less of it. You have no idea what £200 could do for me right now.
“Would you hand it back or pocket the cash and spend it?” asked Guido.
This time it was my turn to stare at the ceiling. I was mentally thinking about counting out all those crisp notes and then stuffing them into my wallet.
“Well?” said Guido.
“Give me a minute,” I said, “I’ve got it narrowed down to a pair of tan Ted Baker lace up shoes or a spa day at Champneys.”
“I see,” said Guido. He said that with an air of obvious disapproval.
“As you know I’m clearly a shallow person who likes nothing better than spending other people’s money,” I said. After all this time together you’d think he’d have gotten me figured out by now. I mean, really.
However I felt obliged to be contrite for just a moment.
“You?” I asked.
“I think I’d probably act out my Robin Hood fantasy,” said Guido. “It’s not exactly robbing from the rich to give to the poor but if I saw someone who I really thought needed it on Bankside then I’d share it around.”
I thought about being down and out but wearing Ted Baker shoes. It wasn’t all bad.
“I see,” I said. I wasn’t feeling at all sleepy. “Well if you fancied it, I suppose we could re-enact some of your favourite Robin Hood scenes before lights out?”
All it took was a couple of fertile minds to turn a double bed and four pillows into Sherwood Forest. I particularly enjoyed the part where Guido pretended to fire his bow and arrow from the top of our chest of drawers.
Hypothetically speaking, of course.